Whiskey Live by Rachel Brill
As a whisky lover, I look forward to Whisky Live all year. Usually in April, the event was held over a month earlier this year on February 25 at Chelsea Piers, which meant we got to watch amazing ice floes floating down the Hudson River while sipping over 300 types of whisky poured by over 80 different brands, distillers, and local bars.
I, of course, immediately found myself at the Roni-Sue (http://www.roni-sue.com/) stand where amazing chocolate and whisky pairings were happening. The lovely ladies of Roni-Sue were serving something called “chocolate salami” which, all puns aside, was fantastic when paired with a 12-year Laphroaig. (Chocolate Salami is now my friend’s new nickname.) One really special addition to the event this year was free freshly rolled cigars by Martinez Hand Rolled Cigars. (http://www.martinezcigars.com/).
A large theme this year was local craft and flavored whiskeys. I tried everything from a sapling maple rye to pumpkin spice whisky (is there anything that doesn’t come in pumpkin spice these days?) to a hops flavored whisky. While some whisky purists might scoff at the idea, I think it’s a great way to introduce novices to the world of brown liquor and prepare their palettes for something more sophisticated.
Speaking of sophistication, there were some amazing brands to be tasted including Suntory, Balcones, Ardbeg, Yamakazi, and Glenmorangie varieties. Ardbeg even had a super cool whisky vaporizer! Some of my favorite local brands were there including Hudson Whisky and Kings County Distillery. It is truly heartbreaking to have to pour out top shelf whiskies into the discard bowls, but I found it a necessity if I was going to remain standing and make it to work the following day.
I left with a new American Whisky temporary tattoo, a set of whisky stones, two cigars, a numb tongue and most importantly, a warm fuzzy feeling inside.